Ummm, how can I say this nicely?
Let’s just put this into context. I buy a lot of self-published books. I buy a lot of small-publisher books. And I buy the big pubs too. I’m OK paying $7.99, even $8.99 or (cringe) $9.99 for the Kindle version of a book from a big publisher whose track record is proven, and for either an author I know, or someone I don’t but who has 1000+ reviews on Amazon and still has an average of 4.5 stars.
You’ve gotta be J.K. Effing Rowling to get $12.99 for a Kindle book out of me.
If you don’t have a publisher behind you, (which I’m THOROUGHLY OK with,) I’m sorry, but you’ve got to prove to me that you’re worth my time and money before I’m going to take a chance. Why? Because there are a million more out there I could be enjoying.
Did you hire an editor? Good for you! Was it someone who just hung a virtual shingle or someone respected in the industry? How am I to know until I read the final product? Am I going to be pissed that I spent my money on your book which, after the sample I read and was happy with, slowed to a crawl and bored me to tears?
If I spent $.99 on it, no I won’t be too upset. If I spent $4.99? Hell yes!
So that brings me back around to the title of this post.
I didn’t spend that $4.99 on your book and I won’t. Quite frankly because I DO buy self published books. All the time. I know exactly what a gamble I’m taking. I know that I might find a jewel for a steal, or I might find a totally frustrating waste of my time.
This isn’t prejudice against anything at all. It’s my experience of reality.
Yes I’m more likely to take a chance on a unknown from a publisher I recognize. They’ve got a team behind them that’s proven their worth and their discretion in choosing books that I won’t regret paying for.
Your fifteen Amazon reviews (eight of which are from people who have no other reviews on there,) aren’t enough to convince me that you’re worth my time and money.
YOU need to prove it to me. By offering me your product at a price I’m willing to pay for a total gamble.
Now your second book, when the first has done so well and gotten a lot more reviews and earned you cred’, we can talk about $4. (Though honestly, why you wouldn’t go with $2.99 like every other sensible person, I can’t imagine.) Otherwise? You’re totally costing yourself sales, and you’ve lost my respect as well. Because I’m questioning your business sense now. Which makes me wonder if you know what your audience wants at all. Which means I didn’t buy your book.
So was that higher price really worth whatever intangible you got out of it? Because it’s losing you sales.
What about you? Does the publisher (or not) affect the price you’re willing to pay? Is your price ceiling the same no matter what? Do you even notice before you buy?